Month: January 2023

January 28th -John 5:6

John 5:6

No matter who we are, each of us at different times in our lives need the healing that only God can provide. The man at the pool of Bethesda was just one of many hoping for a miracle. And he received it through the compassion of Jesus. Christ offered this man grace and mercy, and He offers it to us as well. Our Lord wants no one to suffer in sickness and so He shed His precious blood to become our perfect path to healing. “He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.” (Matt. 8:17) Whether the healing we need is  physical, emotional, spiritual, or all three, Jesus not only provides deliverance from our troubles, but also peace, hope, and joy. So if you find yourself at the edge of the pool lying on your mat wondering when your healing will come, be proactive. Pray, trust, believe, and be ready to put in the work for change when Jesus asks, “Do you wish to be well?”

January 27th – Matthew 4:1

Matthew 4:1

The Bible teaches that Jesus is both fully man and fully God. And it was the flesh side of the Lord that Satan was targeting. Like us, Jesus felt hunger, loneliness, and hardship. Yet instead of those feelings leading Him to sin, the Lord stood on the Word of God to stop the enemy in His tracks. And when we too stand on God’s Word, we can have that same victory over temptation. For when we resist the devil by turning to God, the devil will run from us. (James 4:7) So why did the Enemy start a losing battle? I’m reminded of the old saying, “Give the devil his due, but don’t overpay him.” While Satan is many things, the one thing he is not, is God. That means he isn’t omniscient. He doesn’t know the future, nor has he ever. And his failed efforts show us how rebelling against the will of God only leads to failure and destruction.

January 26th – 1 Corinthians 14:1

1 Corinthians 14:1

Have you ever listened to an especially charismatic teacher and wished you could teach like that? Perhaps you’ve heard the most beautiful singing voice and wished you could sing like that? Or maybe you see someone who is always the first one to volunteer, and wished you could serve like that. The truth is, we’ve all felt that way a time or two. And it’s good to want a spiritual gift. But the desire is only good if it stems from a motive of wanting to use the gifts God gives to both build up the church, and each other. The Lord is our great Conductor, and each of us an important member of His heavenly orchestra. And what an honor it is to be able to use our unique gifts and talents to both serve Him and each other. So polish up your instrument, straighten your sheet music, and follow our God as He leads His orchestra in beautiful harmony for the world to hear!

January 25th – Psalm 1

Psalm 1

We all want to be blessed by God. God wants that too. But that can’t happen if we’re rooted in the wickedness of the world, being fed by the sins of the flesh, and producing worthless, worldly fruit. The way we live our lives, not the words we speak, are the true testimonies of our hearts. And every eye is watching; especially God’s. So to receive His very best, we need to be after God’s own heart. This means uprooting ourselves from the sinful soil of this earth, being replanted on the riverbank of God’s living water. There we can be nourished day and night with His goodness and love. Our leaves will forever be lush and beautiful. And never will our tree be barren, but always produce sweet, bountiful fruit pleasing to the Lord. God warns us that walking beside the wrong crowd leads to standing with them, sitting with them, and finally taking on their lifestyle. So who is influencing you?

January 24th – Matthew 5:11

Matthew 5:11

Have you ever felt disheartened when someone shuts you down while you’re sharing the Gospel? Felt discouraged when the works you do for God don’t produce the fruit you want? Have you ever been rejected by others who don’t share your Christian faith? If so, you’re not alone. The Bible is filled with stories of the disheartening, discouraging, rejection of God’s prophets and messengers. And one of these is the story of Stephen, the church’s first martyr. Accused and facing death, instead of defending himself, Stephen gave a speech that convicted his fellow Jews. A speech so filled with faith, that as he testified all who looked upon Stephen saw the glory of God. And so powerful, it forever changed the life of a young man named Saul. So even in times of feeling disheartened, discouraged, and rejected, keep spreading the Good News. Keep working for God. For who knows, there may be a Saul in the crowd listening nearby.

January 23rd – Luke 1:25

Luke 1:25

Year after year Elizabeth and her husband prayed for a child. And year after year their prayers went unanswered. Yet as the years passed and the waiting continued, never did Elizabeth gave up on God or on her life serving Him. Instead she continued walking in obedience and trusting in whatever plans He had for her life. And as He so loves to do, God rewarded Elizabeth’s faithfulness. At the age of around 60, she became pregnant with a son. Not just any son, but the promised messenger of God. The one who would proclaim the soon to be born Messiah and prepare the way of the Lord! (Isaiah 40:3-5Malachi 3:1) Because of her great faith and obedience God not only blessed Elizabeth with a child, through her, He fulfilled a promise made to Israel hundreds of years before her birth. Isn’t that just like God! He loves to bestow upon His children blessings far greater than we could ever imagine!

January 22nd – Matthew 19:24

Matthew 19:24

Some Biblical scholars believe there was an actual gate in Damascus called “The Eye Of The Needle” During the day the main gates to the city were left open. But at night, when the gates closed, the only way to enter was through a small side gate. This small “Eye Of The Needle Gate”, was narrow and only tall enough to let a person walk through. For a camel to enter, the cargo it carried had to be unloaded, and the camel had to crawl through on its knees. Whether true or not, it is the perfect analogy of the Christian life. For to truly follow Jesus and pass through the gates of heaven, we need to unload our earthly treasures and enter into His presence on our knees. Our Lord left His glorious throne along with all of the majesty and splendor of heaven, to come to earth and become the perfect fulfillment of the Law. He took on our poverty so that we in turn could receive the riches of His blessing. (Prov. 10:22) And that’s more than worth its weight in gold!

January 21st – 2 Corinthians 12:9

2 Corinthians 12:9

Although we aren’t told specifically what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was, we can relate to the suffering he endured. For whether it be emotional, physical, or spiritual, each of us have our own thorns to bear.  Thorns for which we have pleaded with God to remove. And sometimes He will do just that. But what happens when His answer is no?  What if instead He wants us to endure? Paul tells us we are to rejoice in our sufferings. For although the thorn may remain, God is at work strengthening the one under it. Instead of becoming bitter, angry, or frustrated, Paul embraced the thorns in his life. He understood that it was in his weakness where Jesus would be glorified, and where he would most experience God’s grace. It’s often in our lowest times when God can do His greatest work. Although we might not understand why God allows suffering into our lives, we can rest in the knowledge that when trouble does knock at our door He will be there.

January 20th – Philippians 2:2

Philippians 2:2

One of the most wonderful things about the Gospel, is that it’s all inclusive. Because God loves each of us equally. And no one member of the church is more important than the next. So as members of the body of Christ, it’s important that we put ourselves aside and strive to meet the same goal in love, joy, and unity. That goal being sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, and advancing God’s kingdom on earth. We all love a little pat on the back along with acknowledgement and appreciation. But when our own desires become our main focus, no longer are we working for God. Instead we’re working for the pleasing of our own egos. And that goes against who Jesus is and what He teaches. For Jesus lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a humiliating, excruciatingly painful death nailed to a Cross. He willingly became our substitute for sin, paying the debt that we owed. All in accordance to the will of God and out of love for us!

January 19th – Job 11:18

Job 11:18

The world today is in great need of hope. Everywhere we turn, we are inundated by news of tragedy, horror, and violence. As in the days of Noah, (Luke 17:26-27) people are openly sinning against God with no fear of the consequences. And although Christians around the world are sounding the alarm of the Lord’s soon return, the world mocks the message and the messengers. Yet as the world spins out of control, and people panic over the darkened days, we as followers of Christ have all we need to lead lives of encouragement and joy. For as Job 11:18 reminds us, “You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.” One day very soon God will pour out His judgements on this wicked and rebellious world. Yet we can rejoice because those who put their faith in Christ, will never taste the bitterness of His wrath.